We May Know Why You Are Tired All The Time

After barely getting any sleep last night, you are awakened by your baby calling out for you from their crib. You drag yourself over, not sure if your arms are awake enough to pick your baby up.

Meanwhile, your other child is hollering from the kitchen that he is hungry. You think, I could use a giant cup of coffee right now.

After breakfast, you clean up and walk into the living room to find the boys wrestling over a toy. You feel like screaming! It’s only the first incident of the day—and already you feel like blowing up!

Lunch rolls around and all you want to eat is a dark chocolate bar or a giant soft pretzel with extra salt. And you think to yourself, didn’t I just have a cup of coffee? Sure doesn’t feel like it, I guess I will get another one.

If this at all resembles your day—battling fatigue, mood swings, craving sweet or salty foods, and trouble with sleep, you may have adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands become overworked, with little rest to recuperate. Dr. Jolene Brighten, N.D., writes for Natural Mother Magazine in an article titled, “Beyond Tired: Adrenal Fatigue”:

The adrenal glands, which sit above the kidneys, are responsible for managing stress. However, if they are never given a break from the daily stress, they can become fatigued.”

The adrenal glands are small glands with big responsibilities. Hormone.org reported:

“Located at the top of each kidney, the adrenal glands produce hormones that help the body control blood sugar, burn protein and fat, react to stressors like a major illness or injury, and regulate blood pressure. Two of the most important adrenal hormones are cortisol and aldosterone.”

Dr. Brighten gives a list of symptoms typical of adrenal fatigue:

Difficulty waking in the morning

• Afternoon fatigue

• Craving sugar, salt or fat

• Increased illness due to immune
system depression

• Hormone imbalance

• Acne and other skin problems

• Depression

• Low libido

• Poor memory

• Increased PMS and menopausal symptoms

• Dizziness, feeling light headed or a “head rush” when rising from a lying or seated position

• Irritability

• Inability to cope with stress

If you suffer from any of these symptoms you can speak with your doctor about taking an Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) test. However, there is still controversy among some traditional doctors concerning the legitimacy of adrenal fatigue.

As more people step forward in dealing with these symptoms and having confirmation from an ASI, there are more doctors willing to address adrenal support in eliminating these symptoms.

The ASI measures six elements in your health to assess a diagnosis. Dr. Brighten identifies these to be:

1. 4 Cortisol Measurements: Helps evaluate your stress response and your rhythm of cortisol release during the day.

2. Insulin: Evaluates blood sugar regulation.

3. DHEA: Helps determine how you’ve adapted to stress.

4. Secretory IgA: Evaluates impact on immune system and gut permeability.

5. 17-OH Progesterone: Helps determine adrenal reserve.

6. Gluten antibodies: Helps determine intolerance to gluten.

After diagnosis, prognosis is typically a full recovery in 6-24 months depending on the severity of fatigue. It took years of being a hard-working momma to drain your adrenal glands, so be patient while they build their strength back.

Your lifestyle choices are going to be your first line of defense against adrenal fatigue. Try to establish a routine in your day, or as close to one as possible. Eat regular meals, with a protein source in each meal to help stabilize your blood glucose levels.

To help you out, you can set an alarm on your cell phone for every three hours, reminding you to get a meal or snack. Some good protein sources that are easy to add to a meal are:

-Beans
-Tempeh
-Nuts
-Seeds
-Nut butters
-Edamame

Make sure that you are moving every day. Establish a light exercise routine, even if it is squatting with the baby or walking with the kids around the block before dinner.

Keep a regular bedtime to encourage proper sleep patterns. Have a bedtime routine you do for yourself after the children’s bedtime routines.

You can also take adaptogenic herbs to help balance the adrenal output. Do so under the supervision of a qualified professional in herbal treatments.

Bioidentical hormones are used in extreme cases. These will be prescribed by a naturopathic doctor after blood testing to see where you are lacking.

Ease yourself into a healthier lifestyle. Stressing about trying to do everything right the very first day will only lead to additional stress.

Allow yourself time-frames to accomplish tasks rather than a rigid on-the-hour routine that leaves no room for that late nap or a new dinner recipe that doesn’t turn out right.

Mothers are amazing, valiant women that accomplish the impossible day to day. You are worth the effort to a happier and less tired life.

Enlist the support of other mothers trying to get into a routine. They know what you go through, and need the support themselves.

Let us know if you have dealt with adrenal fatigue and have found a beneficial protocol!

Or, if you have these symptoms and think you may be dealing with adrenal fatigue, let’s start supporting each other right now in the comments section below.

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